See Video Version below.
…God is love… 1 John 4:16, NIV
Do you believe that God is love? Don’t answer yet. I want you to think about it. I know every Christian’s automatic response is: “Yes!” For God so loved the world…God is love…who shall separate us from the love of Christ…
I know we all believe this. God is love. He doesn’t have love, He is love. But do we really believe it? Our redeemed spirits believe it, our intellect believes it, but what about our heart? What is in our heart determines our actions. Do we act on the knowledge that God is love, or do we act out of doubt in the love and goodness of God? Think about it.
Do you live in fear? Do we suspect something bad is always about to happen? If we cannot get in touch with a spouse, child, relative or friend when we think we should be able to, does our mind churn out worst-case scenarios? Does the ‘what could happen’ thoughts of life throw a shadow over our daily lives? This is a tough one for me. I tend to suspect the worst. If the fact that God is love was burned into our hearts, then we would have confidence that He is in charge and our Father would never allow anything to happen that wasn’t for our good. If it does turn out to be ‘bad’ from our perspective, we know He will walk through it with us. For some of us we need to work on this. God is love and as we are going through the process of life this is worked from our head into our heart. Problems often are what move what we know in theory into what we really ‘know’ in our hearts. They give us the opportunity of faith. I don’t like it, but that is the way it is.
When something that we don’t like happens do we accuse or question God? We live in a fallen world. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes we are hurt. Sometimes we are confused and don’t understand why God would allow something to happen. What is our response? Do we turn to God in anger, frustration and accusation? Do we keep crying out the unanswerable Why?!? If our belief in the love of God has saturated our hearts, then we will respond like Job - in worship.
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship…In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing…He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 1:20, 22, 2:10, NIV
Another point, if we really believe that God is love in the depths of our hearts, and that we are His children, do we share His love with the people around us? God is love and as we experience and recognize His love, we should want to share it with others. We should want them to have what we have.
Another aspect which really reveals where our heart is at in respect to believing that God is love is how we react when we sin. Sinning should grieve us. We don’t want to hurt God. But when we do, do we hide like Adam fearful of judgment. Or do we trust that our loving Father wants us to run to Him to receive forgiveness and cleansing? If we have a hard time with the concept that God is love, our instinct will be to flee. Even if that is our natural reaction, we need to take the step of faith and turn to God immediately.
As you consider these things, where do you think you are with heart faith in the love of God? Are you near the beginning battling with fear and doubts whenever the pressure is on, or are you more confident that our God of love has your best interests in mind no matter what He allows to happen? No matter where you are, don’t be condemned. Life is a process. God is taking us from point A to point B as fast as we will allow Him. Spend time with Him. Pray. Meditate on His love. Read His Word. If you respond to a situation is a wrong way. Repent. Then act in faith. Remember, it is not hypocrisy to act the opposite of how your emotions are feeling if you are acting according to what you know is the Truth of the Word of God. That is faith - acting on Truth when you are feeling the opposite. May we all enter into a deeper experience of the love of God this year.